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Refinancing your student loans is the process of paying off your old loans with a new one — leaving you with just one loan and payment to manage. Through refinancing, you might be able to lower your interest rate to save money on your loan.
However, you might wonder whether there’s any cost to refinance your student loans.
Here’s what you need to know about the cost to refinance student loans:
- How much does it cost to refinance student loans?
- How much will refinancing save?
- How to refinance student loans to a lower interest rate
- What credit score do I need to refinance student loans?
- Does refinancing hurt your credit?
How much does it cost to refinance student loans?
Thankfully, lenders don’t charge you any upfront fees to refinance your student loans. In fact, not refinancing might cost you more than sticking with your original loan if you could get a lower interest rate through a refinance — especially if you currently have a high student loan interest rate.
If you decide to refinance your student loans, be sure to compare as many lenders as possible to find the right loan for you. Credible makes this easy: You can compare your prequalified rates from our partner lenders in the table below in two minutes — for free.
|Lender||Fixed rates from (APR)||Variable rates from (APR)||Loan terms (years)||Loan amounts||Discounts|
|4.54%+||N/A||10, 15, 20||$7,500 up to up to $200,000|
(larger balances require special approval)
|2.85%+||1.88%+||5, 7, 10, 15, 20||$10,000 up to $250,000|
(depending on degree)
|2.39%+<sup1||2.24%+1||5, 7, 10, 15, 20||$10,000 to $500,000|
(depending on degree and loan type)
|2.99%+2||2.94%+2||5, 7, 10, 12, 15, 20||$5,000 to $300,000|
(depending on degree type)
|3.91%+5||1.83%+5||10, 15, 20||$7,500 to $200,000||Autopay|
|2.58%+3||2.39%+||5, 7, 10, 12, 15, 20||Minimum of $15,000||None|
|3.47%+4||2.46%+||5, 10, 15, 20||$5,000 - $250,000||Autopay|
|3.05%+||3.05%+||7, 10, 15||$10,000 up to the total amount of qualified education debt||None|
|2.89%+||2.13%+||5, 8, 12, 15||$7,500 to $300,000||None|
|3.29%+||N/A||5, 10, 15||$7,500 up to $250,000|
(depending on highest degree earned)
|2.74%+6||2.25%6||5, 7, 10, 15, 20||$5,000 up to the full balance of your qualified education loans||Autopay, loyalty|
|Compare personalized rates from multiple lenders without affecting your credit score. 100% free!
All APRs reflect autopay and loyalty discounts where available | 1Citizens Disclosures | 2College Ave Disclosures | 3 ELFI Disclosures | 4INvestEd Disclosures | 5ISL Education Lending Disclosures | 6SoFi Disclosures
Learn More: How to Consolidate Your Student Loans
Make sure to pay on time to avoid other penalties
While it doesn’t cost anything to refinance student loans, student loan refinance companies might charge fees in other circumstances. For example, you could incur fees for late or returned payments.
The good news is that you can avoid these extra costs by paying on time and by making sure you have the necessary funds before the payment goes through.
How much will refinancing save?
Depending on your credit, you might qualify for a lower interest rate through refinancing — which can save you money on interest and even help you pay off your student loans faster.
You can use our calculator below to see how much you can save by refinancing your student loans.
Step 1. Enter your loan balance
Step 2. Enter current loan information
Step 3. Enter your new loan information to start calculating your savings
If you refinance your student loan at % interest rate, you can save will pay an additional $ monthly and pay off your loan by . The total cost of the new loan will be $.
Does refinancing make sense for you?
Compare offers from top refinancing lenders to determine your actual savings.
Checking rates won’t affect your credit score.
Learn More: When to Refinance Student Loans
How to refinance student loans to a lower interest rate
If you’ve decided to refinance your student loans, follow these four steps:
- Check your credit. When you apply for refinancing, lenders will review your credit to determine your creditworthiness as well as what interest rates you qualify for — so it’s a good idea to check your credit before applying to see where you stand. You can use a site like AnnualCreditReport.com to review your credit reports for free. If you find any errors, dispute them with the appropriate credit bureaus to potentially boost your credit score.
- Compare lenders and pick a loan option. Be sure to shop around and compare as many lenders as possible to find a loan that best suits your needs. Consider not only interest rates but also repayment terms and any fees charged by the lender. After researching lenders, choose the loan option you like best.
- Complete the application. Once you’ve picked a lender, you’ll need to fill out a full application and submit any required documentation, such as tax returns or pay stubs.
- Manage your payments. If you’re approved, be sure to continue making payments on your old loans while the refinance is processed. Afterward, consider signing up for autopay to avoid missing any payments on your new loan.
Check Out: Private Student Loan Consolidation
What credit score do I need to refinance student loans?
To get approved for refinancing, you’ll generally need good to excellent credit — a good credit score is usually considered to be 700 or higher.
Your credit score also affects the interest rates you can get. In general, the better your credit, the lower your interest rate — and the more money you’ll likely save over the life of your loan.
For example, here’s how credit scores affected the average student loan refinancing rates received by borrowers who used Credible to apply for refinancing in May 2021:
- Good credit: Borrowers with credit scores from 720 to 779 received an average fixed rate of 3.82% on a 10-year loan.
- Fair credit: Borrowers with credit scores from 640 to 679 got an average fixed rate of 5.15% on a 10-year loan.
If the borrowers with good credit refinanced $20,000, they’d pay $4,094 in interest over a 10-year term. The borrowers with fair credit, on the other hand, would end up paying $5,632 in total interest — $1,538 more in comparison.
Does refinancing hurt your credit?
When you apply for refinancing, the lender will perform a hard credit check to determine your creditworthiness. This can cause a slight dip in your credit score — however, this is usually only temporary, and your score will likely bounce back within a few months.
If you decide to refinance your student loans, remember to consider as many lenders as you can to find the right loan for you. This is easy with Credible — you can compare your prequalified rates in two minutes without affecting your credit.
Keep Reading: How to Pay off Student Loans in 5 Years
1$16,943 savings disclaimer: Savings estimates assume the analyzed consumers will make full, on-time monthly payments for the full life of the loan according to the terms of their promissory notes. Actual savings may be higher or lower. Average $16,943 savings calculation based on (1) information the users shared with Credible about their original loans (such as loan balance, repayment term, and rate) and created an account between Nov.1, 2019 and Dec. 1, 2020; and (2) actual loan terms for those same users who refinanced into a student loan with a shorter repayment term than the weighted average of their previous loan’s(‘) remaining months to full amortization, calculated using information the users shared with Credible . This calculation excludes borrowers who refinanced to a loan of a similar or longer duration or who reported loan terms that deviate from normal user experiences, including: (i) any loan term with less than one (1) year or more than twenty-five (25) years remaining before refinancing; (ii) monthly loan payments greater than $5,000 per month before refinancing; and (iii) any existing loan amount (before refinancing) that deviates more than five (5) percent from the loan amount disbursed upon refinancing. Our calculations do not take into account variable factors such as the borrower’s potential eligibility for loan forgiveness, variable interest rates, deferments, late payments, underpayments, missed payments, or pre-payments. Please note that your actual savings may vary depending on interest rate, balance, loan terms, credit score, and other factors.